Jeremiah 20 – “Jeremiah’s Incarceration; Jeremiah’s Psalm-like Petition”

babies nursery hospitalHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Jeremiah is incarcerated by Pashhur the priest and prophesies against him when he is released. Jeremiah calls on Yahweh to punish his enemies.

II. Photo

Jeremiah curses the day he was born: “Accursed be the day that I was born! Let not the day be blessed when my mother bore me!” (v. 14)

III. Select Verses

1-3a: Pashhur son of Immer, the priest who was chief officer of the House of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesy these things. Pashhur thereupon had Jeremiah flogged and put in the cell at the Upper Benjamin Gate in the House of the LORD. The next day, Pashhur released Jeremiah from the cell.

3b-7: But Jeremiah said to him, “The LORD has named you not Pashhur, but Magor-missabib. For thus said the LORD: I am going to deliver you and all your friends over to terror: they will fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. I will deliver all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon; he will exile them to Babylon or put them to the sword. And I will deliver all the wealth, all the riches, and all the prized possessions of this city, and I will also deliver all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hands of their enemies: they shall seize them as plunder and carry them off to Babylon. As for you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house, you shall go into captivity. You shall come to Babylon; there you shall die and there you shall be buried, and so shall all your friends to whom you prophesied falsely.”

9: I thought, “I will not mention Him, No more will I speak in His name” — But [His word] was like a raging fire in my heart, Shut up in my bones; I could not hold it in, I was helpless.

10: I heard the whispers of the crowd — Terror all around: “Inform! Let us inform against him!” All my [supposed] friends Are waiting for me to stumble: “Perhaps he can be entrapped, And we can prevail against him And take our vengeance on him.”

14-15: Accursed be the day That I was born! Let not the day be blessed When my mother bore me! Accursed be the man Who brought my father the news And said, “A boy Is born to you,” And gave him such joy!

IV. Outline

1-6. Jeremiah’s incarceration

    1-2. Pashhur locks up Jeremiah

    3a. Jeremiah is released

    3b-6. Prophecy of exile for Pashhur and Judah

7-18. Jeremiah’s Psalm-like Petition

    7-10. Complaint: Jeremiah’s prophecies are not welcomed by the people

    11. Trust/imprecation

    12. Petition/imprecation

    13. Call to praise and give thanks

    14-18. Curse of Jeremiah’s birth day and birth announcer

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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